Netflix’s Number One Movie Is Anna Kendrick’s Best of the Last Decade


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  • Anna Kendrick Portrays Her Best Character Yet
  • Kendrick and Lively’s Chemistry Is Unmatched

Summary

  • A Simple Favor
    tops Netflix’s top 10, showcasing Anna Kendrick’s best work in a complex, unpredictable character portrayal.
  • Kendrick’s chemistry with Blake Lively drives the riveting plot, creating a dynamic cat-and-mouse game that keeps audiences hooked.
  • The film’s twists and turns are expertly sold by the duo, making
    A Simple Favor
    a standout in Kendrick’s filmography.



The Netflix top 10 list isn’t always filled with new releases. Sometimes, older classics find their way to the top of the list, and audiences excitedly watch them the second they’re available on the streaming platform. While this isn’t anything new, the most recent movie to top Netflix’s list is a highlight of one of the lead actresses’ filmographies.

A Simple Favor is the 2018 crime thriller directed by Paul Feig that follows Anna Kendrick as Stephanie Smothers, a picture-perfect parent who makes friends with Emily Nelson (Blake Lively), a fairly absent mother who is often busy at her job for a fashion company. The unlikely pair come together just before Emily’s sudden and concerning disappearance. While the film didn’t garner huge attention at the box office, it’s become more popular since its release. In addition to being an entertaining watch, A Simple Favor is easily Anna Kendrick’s best of the last decade, from the character she portrays to her dynamic with her co-star.



Anna Kendrick Portrays Her Best Character Yet

When A Simple Favor debuted, many knew Kendrick from her leading role in the Pitch Perfect trilogy. Beca Mitchell is a spunky character who is arguably the complete opposite of Stephanie Smothers. Beca is someone who snubs authority and rejects the status quo, whereas Stephanie is the picture-perfect PTA parent who funnels all her energy into her son. But not everything is what it seems.

Stephanie is one of the most complex characters the actress has portrayed. Nothing about her behavior is predictable. She’s introduced to audiences as a cheerful, widowed mother, overeager to volunteer at her son’s school and always snapping pictures for the yearbook in addition to posting parenting videos online, but that isn’t all she is.


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The widow quickly reveals her dark side. While drinking martinis with Emily, Stephanie admits that after her father passed away, she not only discovered she had a half-brother, but she slept with him. It is a revealing admission that doesn’t seem in character at all. This is Stephanie’s “big secret,” but also the first hint that this mom isn’t entirely who we think she is, especially as audiences learn more about that story after Emily’s disappearance.


While she’s presented as a stereotypical PTA mom, what we’re introduced to is the mask she wears for the world. Stephanie wants to appear as a cheery mother, soldiering on after the tragic death of her husband, but so much more lurks beneath the surface. It comes out bit by bit as she dives further into Emily’s life, her cheerful demeanor falling to the side, steadily slipping away as she tries to have the upper hand in a situation she was never meant to be in the middle of.

Kendrick and Lively’s Chemistry Is Unmatched

Anna Kendrick is phenomenal as Stephanie, selling the character’s shifting personality with ease, but her performance is elevated by her chemistry with Blake Lively. Lively is in her element, portraying someone just as two-faced as Stephanie, living a life that’s just as much of a lie.


The characters complement each other in a way that drives the plot forward at an ideal pace. Emily undermines Stephanie at every turn, underestimating her ability to catch on to the ruse while poking fun at her “perfect parent” image in the early days of their friendship. However, Stephanie meets her new friend toe-to-toe and sheds her PTA persona as she lays a trap even though Emily doesn’t see it coming. The two actresses push and pull at each other, creating a dynamic that’s only successful because of the charisma between them. Without it, Emily and Stephanie’s cat-and-mouse game would fall flat.

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It’s that chemistry that makes A Simple Favor the riveting film that it is. A series of twists is only as believable as the actors selling it, and Kendrick and Lively play their parts perfectly. Even when you rewatch it, knowing exactly what will happen, you can’t help but be surprised again by Kendrick’s performance in the third act or how quickly Lively shifts from a dominating career-driven wife to a vulnerable, hurt woman trying to overcome the pain of her past.

The complexity of Stephanie combined with the unparalleled dynamic duo of Kendrick and Lively makes for a film that easily stands out as the best in Kendrick’s filmography in the last decade. Nothing else quite compares to watching Stephanie do a vlog that is actually designed to tear Emily down, only coming across as a concerned friend to everyone but those who know the truth. With a sequel in the works, audiences will get to watch the actresses spar as their characters again, fighting to have the last word. You can watch A Simple Favor now on Netflix.




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